You may be familiar with the term sandwich generation.
In essence, the sandwich generation are typically those in their 30s to 50s who are caring for both their children and their ageing parents.
Being caught in the middle (hence: sandwich), this group has to deal with an entire gamut of financial matters including the family budget, saving for retirement, school fees, healthcare expenses and many others.
As a member of this cohort, I can certainly relate to the challenge.
The feeling of having to juggle multiple roles, as a father, husband, son and even brother, can be challenging, both mentally and physically. .
As an investor, there are many hats we have to wear as well.
A tricky act
Managing an investment portfolio can be a tricky, akin to an acrobat trying to juggle multiple balls in the air.
You need to monitor your existing investments to ensure they still adhere to your philosophy, while also assessing if each continues to fulfil the criteria for your original thesis.
When your investment works out, you want to be sure that it is for the right reasons.
And when things do go south, you need to be disciplined in assessing the situation and cutting your losses if need be.
Then, there is also the task of managing your cash on hand.
We have to continue to look for suitable investments to deploy our capital to avoid it being eroded by inflation.
Looking for reinvestment avenues
Ideally, the dividends that you receive and your cash on hand should be deployed into great companies.
But it is not as simple as it looks.
The current investment climate provides a good example.
At this point of time, the stock market is neither cheap nor expensive.
Some companies are poised to ride a post-pandemic recovery.
Yet, the path is likely to be uneven.
Some sectors may see a stronger rebound than others.
But there’s one thing you should remember, and that is to focus on the company’s business and not the share price.
If you select strong businesses with favourable long-term attributes, then you can safely deploy your capital without worry.
Although there may be short-term hiccups and volatility will continue to reign, remaining steadfast is important for great long-term results.
It gets better with practice
Managing your own stock portfolio requires practice.
I like to liken it to playing the guitar.
Everyone starts on the same slate, and with diligent practice, you should be able to at least strum a few chords.
It’s the same with portfolio management.
You need to invest your time and effort to tend to your portfolio of stocks.
Pull out the weeds and water the flowers.
Over time, you will develop the muscle memory to do so with much less effort and a lot more skill.
A blessing in disguise
When you think about it, having to juggle multiple family roles is something to cheer about.
It implies that you are surrounded by the love of your family and have the responsibility to ensure their well-being.
Similarly, managing an investment portfolio means you are the steward of your capital.
It signals that you are fortunate enough to have money to invest and that you are taking steps to secure a comfortable future for yourself and your loved ones.
Going back to my original point, it may seem tiring to juggle multiple roles, but it’s also a blessing in disguise.
I’m happy to be surrounded by family and feel fortunate to be able to wear different hats to people that I care about.
And you, the Smart Investor, should feel that way too.
After all, managing an investment portfolio can be an extremely rewarding task.
The capital gains and dividends you enjoy will make it well worth the effort.
Disclaimer: Royston Yang does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.